Grilli has served as a mop-up man for the Tigers the past two years, eating bullpen innings at a mediocre ERA. The Rox may have been drawn to his typically decent groundball rates.
Simons appears to be a long shot to reach the bigs; he wasn't among the Rockies' top 30 prospects.
The Rox also completed their long-rumored deal for lefty Jorge de la Rosa. He'll jump right into the rotation. The 27 year-old is an interesting arm when healthy.
On April 9th, Jack Macgruder of the East Valley Tribune said that D'Backs second baseman Orlando Hudson seeks $15MM per year for his next contract. That would suggest he is in Chase Utley's class.
MLB.com's Barry Bloom inquired with Hudson on this topic today but didn't get much out of him. Hudson did tell Bloom that Macgruder's report was false, though. Hudson also made a point to say that he'd love to stay in Arizona.
3:28pm: Greg Norton was the other player designated. Starting Balentien and Clement regularly should be a nice offensive upgrade for the Mariners.
3:04pm: According to Ryan Divish of the News Tribune, Brad Wilkerson's locker has been cleared out. Divish speculates that Wilkerson has been designated for assignment. He expects the Ms to make one other move to accomodate for callups of Wladimir Balentien and Jeff Clement.
Wilkerson, 30, hit .232/.348/.304 for the Mariners in 56 ABs. He makes $3MM this year, plus up to $2MM in plate appearance bonuses.
A's second baseman Mark Ellis might be the affordable alternative to Orlando Hudson next winter. In September of last year, the A's chose to exercise Ellis' $5MM option for '08.
Ellis, 30, was ranked as the fourth-best defensive second baseman by the Fielding Bible's panel of experts, behind Aaron Hill, Hudson, and Brandon Phillips. The market might undervalue second base defense - Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA projection system values Ellis at about $30MM over the 2009-11 seasons. He seems unlikely to become a $10MM a year player.
Ellis also has offensive value. He's good for a .330 OBP and .400 SLG, which is at least league average for the position. And he is capable of more power, having hit 19 home runs last year.
Ellis seems likely to snag a contract of three years at $6-7MM per season. Sure beats Hudson's asking price. Ellis just missed Type A classification last winter; I think he'll reach it this time (here's a refresher on the stats used for the Elias rankings). Because of the likely Type A draft pick compensation, I can see him playing out the string in '08 with the A's.
Let's kick things off with an odds and ends post today. By the way did anyone watch Max Scherzer's debut last night? Damn.
- Dejan Kovacevic notes that even if Matt Morris considered retiring and abandoning his '08 salary, the Players Association would've strongly objected.
- Rays Senior VP of Baseball Ops Gerry Hunsicker indicates that the team will spend money to improve the team if they're still contending a few months from now.
- According to Jon Heyman, catcher Chad Moeller will remain with the Yankees.
- Another fine piece from Bob Nightengale of USA Today (hat tip to ShysterBall). The article discusses the pros and cons of young players leaving money on the table in exchange for security.
- The Rockies may complete their long-rumored Jorge de la Rosa acquisition. The Rox have question marks in the rotation after Aaron Cook and Jeff Francis.
- Good point from Ken Davidoff - the Phil Hughes/Johan Santana question can't be answered yet.
TUESDAY: The Rangers have given up on Jason Botts, designating him for assignment. Botts, 27, played first base and various other roles in 15 games for the Rangers this year.
I can see him passing through waivers unclaimed. Botts may have earned the dreaded Quad-A label. He's failed to produce in 282 big league ABs but has raked Triple A pitching.
Corey, 34, has decent big league stats in 53 career innings but could never hold a job. Aquino, 30, has been done in by home runs, walks, and injuries in his career. He did manage to close for the D'Backs in '04.
According to Justin Rodriguez of the Times-Herald Record, pitcher Matt Morris has retired. He confirmed it with Rodriguez; Morris has no desire to battle his way back or work out of the bullpen.
Morris finishes with a 3.98 career ERA in 1806 innings, including a respectable 121 wins. Kind of nice that the career ERA didn't get pushed over 4.00. Retired at 33 with $60MM earned...can't say I don't envy him!
This is one topic that's been hashed and rehashed about a million times. Oh well; let's talk Barry Bonds once again.
SI's Tom Verducci analyzes the situation and determines that the Blue Jays make the most sense. J.P. Ricciardi indicated a lack of interest to Verducci, though.
The fact remains that no team has offered Bonds even the league minimum. I am often asked whether I think he will play this year, and I keep saying yes. Here are the objections, and my answers to them:
- "Bonds will be too expensive." We can't say that until a team actually makes him an offer. He could very well play for a million bucks.
- "Bonds can only DH." Given certain NL left fielders, that is quite arguable. But even so, some contenders have obviously worse DHs.
- " Bonds used steroids, he's a cheater." Gary Bennett, Mike Cameron, Brendan Donnelly, Eric Gagne, Jose Guillen, Jerry Hairston Jr., Matt Herges, Paul Lo Duca, Andy Pettitte, Nook Logan, and Ron Villone allegedly cheated; they were all signed as free agents. Teams and fans don't care about this as long as it improves the chances of winning.
- "Bonds will destroy the clubhouse chemistry." Does one man really have this power? I imagine Bonds would be on his best behavior knowing that he was hanging by a thread and could easily be released. I think this angle is overblown by the media.
- I'm not a Bonds apologist; I am just explaining why I think a team should/will sign him. It's of no concern to me whether he plays.
Ken Rosenthal has a new column up; let's take a look.
- Rosenthal gives a good refresher on July trade candidates; pretty much the names you'd expect.
- Reasons for Wayne Krivsky's firing are discussed. By the way check out John Fay's blog for some candid final comments from Krivsky. One interesting note is that he had no extension talks with Adam Dunn.
- The D'Backs could use Max Scherzer to strengthen their bullpen, or they could shop Chad Tracy for a reliever.
- Rosenthal wonders whether the Nationals might consider the under-30 segment of the next free agent class.
- Plenty of teams continue to express interest in the Rays' Edwin Jackson. Something has to give in their rotation when Scott Kazmir returns, but demoting Andy Sonnanstine to the pen would solve the logjam.